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tv   Politics Nation With Al Sharpton  MSNBC  April 30, 2017 5:00am-6:01am PDT

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find out how american express cards and services can help prepare you for growth at open.com. the leader of our country is not here. and that's because he lives in moscow. it is a very long flight. it would be hard for vladimir putin to make it. he can't just make it on a saturday. it's a saturday. as for the other guy, i think he's in pennsylvania because he can't take a joke. >> good morning and welcome to politics nation. i am in washington d.c. because last night i attended the annual white house correspondents dinner, and as you know, the head of that white house was not
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there. >> and i could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from washington swamp spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people. >> president trump chose to celebrate his first 100 days in officer by leading a rally in pennsylvania. well, it's safe to say we've never seen a first 100 days like we've seen from president trump. later in the show two exclusive interviews. one with gamed director spike lee on the 25th anniversary of the los angeles riots, and also with former attorney general erik holder. i talked to both during the
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national network convention which ended in new york yesterday. here's a sample. >> we need a central part of the obama justice department protection of the right to vote. i think you see the trump juste partment pulling back in ways on that inconsistent with what who we say we are as a nation. >> so with civil rights on the line, on the 100th and one day of this administration, what can we expect as we look ahead to the rest of donald trump's presidency. with me now, judi curts. she attended last night's white house correspondents dinner. dana millbank. he attended the alternative event hosted by samantha b. and rick tyler, and a republican
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strategist and political analyst. let me ask you. you went to the dinner as i did. it was kind of different. you didn't have a lot of -- you didn't have the president. you didn't have a lot of a-li a-listers that we see every year, and i have been going since george bush was in office. you never had a president do this, and do an alternative event in pennsylvania where he kind of took the news. what was your feeling sitting there last night? >> well, they call it nerd prom, and this year it was certainly heavy on the nerdiness, maybe a little too heavy. and prettyight on the prom part. it's like going to the prom when you're in school and then the teacher grabs the mike and at the dance and goes on and on about the importance of education. i think it was a little, with all due respect to you, a little too preachy in the journalism
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sermon last night. >> i also think, and you were at the alternative, dana. i also think that it's unprecedented for a president -- i mean, i really think people need to get this, for a president to not not only go, but then go to pennsylvania and just bash the prez over and over again. so here we're sitting in washington at the dinner that every president has gone to other than ronald reagan when he was recovering from being shot. and he's not only bashing the event, saying he's very happy he's 100 miles away. the event is talking about preserving and standing by the first amendment, and he's talking fake news, fake news, and naming out different news entities. >> well, i'll tell you. in one way i think about this is finally on his 100th day in office, he had an accomplishment that i think was a major
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accomplishment. and that is deflating the white house correspondence dinner. it was grotesque and people were acting as pumps introducing people. he deflated it by having his staff not come. i think it brought it back to what it should be. it was just about journalism and raising money for high school journalists. it was about giving awards. it will be boring. i won't attract attention, but that will be the dinner it's supposed to be. now, going out to pennsylvania and blasting the media as he always does, that's a different matter, but i think he did us all a favor by getting out of town. >> rick, you're a republican strategist. what does this do in terms of the politics going forward? because it seems like there is no attempt at trying to find some mid ground here. he's drawn the line in the sand again. many felt that he would do the
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event, deal with his 100 days, deal with his agenda, tax reform, health care, whatever it is he's going to try to propose. he just went totally i'm going after the media, glad to be out of the swamp. are we ever going to see him realize the campaign is over? >> no tnks ishat we're going to get for the next four years and one of my criticisms of donald trump is that he did win. he won with a base that he had assembled. it wasn't a traditional republican base. and he hasn't moved from them. "the washington post" poll confirmed that. 96% of the people are still with trump. he hasn't had great legislative achievements. he's gotten some things done in terms of energy and job creation for regulation. the conservative base is happy about the supreme court nomination. but if -- >> let me press you there. dana, i want to go to you. she's written a very interesting
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piece about the first 100 days. you're saying for his base, he has delivered tangibles in the first 100 days? >> yeah. well, yes. i mean, he has started up two pipelines. he's reversed a lot of regulation on energy and on climate change own an clean coal. so those are things his base likes. on regulation toward business. they like the tax proposal that he has introduced. but he's going to need legislative achievement to get it done. the health care was a big failure. if i had to grade donald trump on his own assertions, i'd probably give him a failing grade. >> on his own assertion. >> yeah. but i think historically, he would do pretty well. but it's his own assertions and prok cla l.a. administrations that get him into trouble. >> you raised your eyebrows when he said historically he thinks he's done pretty well. >> right. well, i don't doubt that he believes he's done historically
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very well. the best ever, and he thinks everybody else is telling him the same sort of thing. i think what rick is saying is in the regulatory area he has made some serious progress. i would not be sure that's exactly what sort of his populous followers are looking for. that's more of a chamber of commerce thing. the it's an achievement. i think they're probably happy because they see it appears he's blowing up everything in washington. really, he's probably just making a bigger mess here than existed before, but they probably see oh, this whale and gnashing of teeth, and it's like great, he's making everybody angry, he must be doing something right. >> when you look at this, many of us in different constituencies, those of us in different more progressive communities. i'm in the civil right coit others deals with -- you had hundreds of thousands of pe
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yesterday for climate change, on and on and on, women, immigration rights. it's been a disaster. i mean, the deregulation that rick talks about is something that many of us feel in some areas harmless. and when you look at what sessions is doing with the justice department around voting, around the question of police reform, these 100 days have been tangible. tangibly devastating and leaning toward devastation of many things that progressives and even centrists believe in. >> i think the 100 day mark is a ritual the media largely plays up. >> well, trump reinforced it. >> he did. he played into it as well especially with his 100-day action plan. but no one looks back at past presidents and says i wonder what they did on april 29th. if he does get some of these big
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legislative victories through such as health care, i think that people are going to forget this 100-day mark. >> now, rick, he's got to get some legislation through. you said that. now, how does he do that when even in the republican party, in the senate and the congress, it seems that there is friction and that he can't seem to even get his own party united around some of the things like health care and some of the things that he's talked about doing. >> one of the reasons the president has relied on his family as staff now is because the staff is not delivered on dl capitol hill. he's sent people up and they've failed. what a mystery to me is why tru trump, speaker ryan, and leader mcconnell don't all sit in a room and have leader mcconnell say these are the five things i could get through the senate. see if paul ryan can agree on any and put together an agenda. >> i that have the majority of
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the senate and the house. why is that not happening? >> this, i think, is why the 100 days matters. this is the chance when he had momentum and political capital. they said a couple of major face plants. now you're looking at approval in the high 40s. democrats aren't afraid of this guy. the freed om caucus, not afraid. the job becomes more difficult. you need to get wins. >> on the 100-day mark, barack obama had 63%. when he said i want this, congress will move. when you're at 40%, nobody moves. >> and when there's no price to pay, you're not going up against somebody with the public behind them, and he did win the presidency in the electoral college. he was almost 3 million votes behind hillary clinton. >> and that might be one of the -- that might be one of the reasons he keeps reminding us of
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his big election victory. he hasn't had a lot of victories since election day, and he needs to move legislation. >> at what point does the people, the 96% that the washington post poll said of donald trump supporters that say they're still there, we're still with him, when does that erode? when does the guy in pennsylvania say wait a minute, i'm not getting my coal mining job back. when does it turn around? >> right now they're seeing the fireworks in washington and say right, he's shaking things up. they don't see what's going on in terms of putting more lobbyists in government with more influence over the industries they cover. what you said is correct. it's when they realize that nothing is changing in terms of manufacturing in the rust belt. nothing is changing in terms of coal in an lay sha. we're not going to wipe out isis
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in 60 days without cost to the united states. it's going to take time. for this president, people will start realizing that around the next term. >> do you think a republican will give this president a primary if he's there in 2020? >> quite possibly, yes. it depends how bad it gets. if it gets to point where we're doing so much losing and we're tired of it, he'll get a primary challenger. >> from the right? >> yeah. >> or from the moderates? >> i don't know. >> how about somebody that's competent and makes sense? >> both sides have been alienated. a lot of conservatives like me are not with him. and a lot of moderates aren't with him always. one of the things if you look at employment, we have a lot of employment. it's going to be wage increase. and that's going to be tougher to get. and he promised 3% plus gdp
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growth. at that rate -- >> we saw only 0.7 growth. i have to go. thank you all. we have a lot of employment thanks to barack obama. later on this show, spike lee has a very unique nickname for the president trump. but coming up first, my exclusive interview with former attorney general erik holder. i sat down with him at the national action network convention in new york at a moment when so many of the gains we fought for are at risk. we'll be right back. this is "politicsnation" on msnbc. are allergies holding you back?
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title of the national action network convention that wraed up yesterd after four amazing days in new york. when everything from voting rights and police accountability to health care, worker's rights and a woman's right to choose are under attack. we dwatherrgathered the best an brightest to ensure that we continue to move forward. especially now under a new administration that's trying to turn the clock back on civil rights advances. a key nobility at the convention was former attorney general erik holder. i sat down with him after his address. >> thanks again for doing this. you spoke this week at the convention very passionately about voting. about the schemes to undermine
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voting and suggestion that a lot of what you fought for as attorney general in terms of protecting vote, you seem to be disappointed that's not being followed up. >> i think that's right. we made a central part of the obama justice department protection of the right to vote. i think you see the trump justice department pulling back on it in ways that i think are uncon when shl and inconsistent with the terms of the department and with who we say we are as a nation. >> when you heard that attorney general sessions said he was not going to continue with the justice department participating as part of the texas boarder i.d. case, what was your reaction? >> well, i was trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. i think that was one of the first actions that made me understand we're dealing with a different department of justice. we'll be relying on other organizations to do the kinds of
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work that the justice department tried to do while i was attorney general. that's a very troubling thing. that's a very troubling thing. to see the justice department pull back on something that's a core the tenet, the right to vote. it's not a privilege. it's a right of every american citizen. >> you said you're going to commit a lot of your time to touring the country, dealing wi gerrymandering and voting rights. now. >> i have been going all around the country. i flew in from san francisco the night before the national network convention trying to raise awareness of the american people trying to make them understand the way lines are drawn effects their ability to have their voices heard. we have a system where politicians are picking their voters instead of voters picking their representatives. it's something the republicans did well. the democrats have to do better in 2020. we're start right now with making sure that we elect people
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in the states that have the power to deal with the redistricting questions. the governor in virginia in 2017. the governor in new jersey in 2017 and the midterm elections in 2018. >> sunday morning, it will be the 101st day of the trump administration. how do you as one who worked for several administrations ultimately became attorney general, how do you assess the first 100 days? >> chaos. carnage on basic american rights. no sense of direction. i think that what was said during the campaign was proved to be true. president trump is a person i think with experience and temperamentally not suited to be president. and you have seen the chaos, and lack of accomplishment in these 100 days. things that gives me great pause, and he gets the basis for a renaissance of the democratic
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party. it also calls for activism by the american people to make sure the basic things that we've always fought for, the bprogres we've made is not turned back by this unaccomplished administration. >> thank you. >> always good to see you. >> attorney general holder was one of many who participated in the four-day event. we discussed policing, mental health, the importance of media, women's empowerment, reducing gun violence, corporate diversity, immigration, social activism and much, much more. here's just a sample of this year's convention. >> no justice. >> no pieeace. >> our theme this year is everything is at stake. i'm here because everything is at stake from police reform to
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voting rights to education. and we need to be prepared for the fight. i think in my generation, it's easy to go out and march and rally, but there's no preparation and strategy. we need to be prepared. i'm here to prepare myself. >> i'm here to support the cause of social justice. we're here to honor the legacy of dr. king and what he's done for our community and we're also here to honor everyone who has continued his work from beyond the grave likeeverend al sharpton. >> i did a profile on reverend sha sharpton on 60 minutes. we smoked cigars together and trade stories with each other, and i have the utmost respect for the man. he's a good guy. he does a lot of really great work here. >> all the conversations we're having are important. i think they're critical to have. we have to talk about this
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administration. we have to talk about what the trump presidency means for minority communities. we need to talk about what it means for future elections, midterm elections in 2018. so all of the conversations that we're having now at this convention are, i think, critical. now seemingly more than ever, we just need to tell the truth. >> we have a lot more power than we sometimes remember that we do, and i wasn't born rich. i don't have a trust fund. i'm not a man. the one place where i have totally an equal playing field with people who were born with more privilege than we is in the voting booth. people need to vote, and people need to run for office. and if there's a kid out there who sees this, i hope you'll run for city council. i hope you'll run for state senate. i hope you'll run for president, but i also hope some of you will
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become skrjudges. that's where a lot of our laws are determined. >> in order to increase social justice on a justice, we first have to do it on local level. you have to go go out and vote. you have to campaign. you can' do that just for the federal or national election. it starts at the local level. politics is at the local level. >> i'm always supporting with the reverend is doing bringing the people together and figuring how we can form abs to better our situation. more importantly, the woman's empowerment luncheon is important. >> i'm taylor. i'm nine. >> it's important to show her early women of power who look like her. that's one of the main reasons we're here, to make sure my daughter at an early age sees and knows that she is powerful beyond belief. >> i got to have strategies to implement. that's why i'm here, to gain the strategies and implement them in
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local community. >> and later in the show, director, producer, actor, and writer spike lee. you will never guess what his nickname for president trump is. but up next, alabama has passed an offensive bill that helps preserve confederate monuments. are you surprised? i'm not. that's next. ♪"all you need is love" plays my friends know me so well. they can tell what i'm thinking, just by looking in my eyes.
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forward toward progress but two steps back. this week alabama lawmakers passed a bill that makes it almost impossible to remove monuments and historically significant structures from public property. yeah. all those confederate monuments spread across the state that offend so many people. you can't get rid of them. critics see this bill as an offensive effort to preserve monuments with links to the confederacy and slavery. supporters, on the other hand, say they just want to maintain the history of the state. but that history includes racial oppression and buying and selling people like property. and while we cannot run from our past, we should not celebrate hate and division. confederate monuments should be housed in a museum, not on public spaces. so to the person who wrote the
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bill, republican congressman mac butler, i say if you want to be reminded every day of the atros theties committed by americans against other americans, go to a museum, because the removal of these monuments is not about erasing history. it's about understanding our history. and addressing the injustices of the past. and when we come back, one city that decided to remove confederate monuments from the streets. .it's how well you mow . woooh! it's not how fast you mow... it's how well you mow fast! it's not how fast you mow... it's how well you mow fast. they're not just words to mow by, they're words to live by. the john deere ztrak z345r with the accel deep deck to mow faster, better. take a test drive and save up to 250 dollars on select john deere residential ztrak mowers.
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necessary step to write a historical wrong. when he ordered the city to begin the removal of the first of four monuments dedicated to
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the, quote, lost cause of the confederacy. the champions of white supremacy. actions have been met with death threats and intimidation. should other southern leaders follow suit? and are they prepared to fight jeff sessions and his justice department in case they intervene? joining me now is taigen winlat and charlene, an assistant professor of history at xavier university of louisiana. let me start with you, taigen. the fact that the mayor did this and received threats, in fact, i understand that he had some kind of challenge in even getting contractors that would take the
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contract to remove these objects. it shows there is really a lot of support for maintaining this celebration of whoite supremacy and confederacy. >> there's a lot of support for the monuments. people see these as relics of history. they've been gathering at the remaining three monuments to show their support for them. in familiar, the one of jefferson davis. there were about 30 supporters there last night. and there were about 30 folks who were there in support of the monuments being removed. they were sort of facing off for some time. it got a little tense. but it was interesting to see them engage in conversations about this topic. and i heard from the supporters of the monuments that these are kind of -- they see them as part of their personal history. a lot of these folks drove past these statues every day on their
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way to school as kids, and they talked about their personal connection to the civil war with their parents around the dinner table when they were growing up. it's not just about collective history but personal history for some. >> but that personal history, charlene, is personal to those who were the heirs of slaves. you can't act like the civil war wasn't about slavery or the confederacy wasn't about returning blacks to being property. they talk about their personal story like the personal stories of blacks don't matter. >> are you addressing charlene? >> charlene, i'm talking to, yes. >> okay. >> yes. exactly. and that is absolutely not the case. it's history. it belongs in museums.
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frankly, for many years we as african americans, african american community, we've been asked to get over things, to move past history. and if we think about it, it's been 152 years since the passage of the 13th majority that freed slaves on american soil. from that time, we have been asked to move past it. we've been asked to move past 246 years of enslavement on north american soil. we've been asked to move past several things from the early 1900s through 2017. we've been asked to move past lynchings. we've been asked to move fast disfranchisement, police brutality, all those things, and so an extent we have, but we have not forgotten history, and we're not asking these confederate extremists who forget about history. we're only asking that they move on like we have been asked to do for so many years. >> but let me ask you this, the
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taigen. as you say they start talking to one another, do you get a sense that some are that are supporters of the confederate and the other symbols that remain, do they even understand how offensive that is? i mean, we would not have nazi monuments up in this country. we would not allow that in other areas. and you are talking about public property that the taxpayers in new orleans mostly whom are black, are paying for. i mean, don't they even understand that people in the public have a right to say i don't want my tax dollars celebrating making me and making my forefathers property? >> sure. i think there's a wide range of historical knowledge represented in the folks who show up to support these monuments. and i think largely for them it's not about race, and they've been careful to keep that out of
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the conversation in most cases. but they feel lehey wanted a voice, that should have been up for a public vote. we vote on taxes and water fees here. they feel we should have had a public vote on the monument removals rather than city council having voted to have them removed. >> let me ask you, charlene. can you have these discussions without talking about race? she said they don't bring up race. how do you talk about the confederacy or the civil war without talking about race? >> the it's something that you cannot put out of this discussion. because the civil war was fought because of the institution of slavery. it was fought because of race. that is something that cannot be left out. i mean, this monuments promote division, hate, and racial strife. this is something that america does not stand for. in the words of the 45th president, he's trying to make america great again.
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guess what. let's make america great again and take down the monuments and promote diversity and acceptance and inclusion. >> thank you, taigen and charlene. up next, he's outspoken, sometimes provacative, but always doing the right thing. director and writer spike lee will tell us what he thinks of the first 100 days of president, quote agent orange. his words, not mine. we'll be right back. [ dog whimpers ]
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ykeep you sidelined.ng that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein and 26 vitamins and minerals. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure. always be you. >> tu during this week's national network convention, i had the honor to meet wonderful, talented, and passionate delegates, speakers and activists. one of them was none other than producer and actor spike lee.
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he came to talk on a panel on how to deal with gun crime in our community. but when i sat down with him, we talked about much more, and specifically about someone he calls agent orange. >> how are you doing, sir? >> i'm good. thank you for being here. you've been around us from the beginning. what do you think is the challenge of civil rights organizations like naacp today? >> number one, it would be less than intelligent to tell you what you should be doing because you're been on the forefront -- i mean, there was a time where you were not the most popular man. >> i heard. >> since last night's other thing, what they did the to all lie. at the end, they forgot he was
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one of the most despised person. the narratives get changed. but right now i think the it's an important time for any organization. it's about humanity, about being progressive. agent orange has nuclear code. it's scary. there's this whole method about the football. the football is real. it's real. president obama's first term, my wife and i gave a benefit at our house. packed. everybody is there. i go outside because i'm going to get out of here. i'm going outside, and there's a car in front of my house. east 63rd street. two weeks before, they started going on the roof. you couldn't get around the block. insane. i go outside. in front of my townhouse, and i see this thing. and this guy is sitting next to it, like a briefcase.
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i look to him. he looked at me, and then he nodded. i had nightmares that night. >> really? >> yes. because certain numbers boom, boom, boom, boom -- >> so he's sitting there with it because the president is there? >> the president has to be 100 feet. he can't go anywhere without that thing, the football being next to him. >> so you're fear is now the other guy has the football? >> you got the crazy guy in north korea, the crazy guy in russia, agent orange in the white house. we're on the brink. >> and for our viewers that don't know, agent orange is president trump? >> i don't want to say his name, but that's the guy. >> i want my viewers to be on the same rhythm. >> yes. that's agent orange. >> let me ask you about agent oran orange, as you call him. his 101st day of his presidency. >> disaster.
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because, for me, from brooklyn, this is some -- he sold a bill of goods, and the it was a three-car montey. i'm going to do this, and this, and this, and then i'm not doing this. i'm doing this. the same thing that people thought they were going to get when they elected you in office, it's a total switch. and i'm talking about the people who voted for him. we are in a very, very strange time. and it's sad. >> we got to do -- we got to protect the things we fought for. >> we don't want the to roll bla back the clock. jeff sessions, let's not go in his closet, because you might
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see something that's whe way back in the closet. this guy is attorney general? and we just -- i just came from a panel about guns, and the police. >> right. >> do you think the stuff that erik holder did in the department of justice in ferguson unless the police departments that jeff sessions is going to do that? >> no. he said he's not. >> he said it himself. and then they try to take back the stuff that's been in place already. >> yeah. that's why we're here. i have to ask you about this. 25 years after l.a., you've done something around rodney king. the tell us about it. >> well, it's a one-man play by a brilliant actor. he's done a lot of research, and he made -- wrote, a one-man play that is phenomenal. it's coming on netflix, and also
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i'd like to say there's many different things. right now the 10th anniversary. there's documentaries left and right, and i think the more, the better. but what we did is different. it's not a better. what we did is not a documentary. it's roger smith, one man, on a stage, giving a whole history of who rodney king was. a lot of people don't know who he was. he got beat up and along. that's it. he has a whole life. >> that's right. >> that's what roger's piece gets to. it infos us who this individual was. >> it's coming on netflix next week. >> yes, this week. >> thank you, spike. >> anytime. is brooklyn in the house? >> we here. we here. brooklyn, do or die. >> up next, my final thoughts. the line that connects the
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national action network. president trump's first 100 days in office and the 25th anniversary of the los angeles riots. stay with us. friends. i have a great fit with my dentures. i love kiwis. i've always had that issue with the seeds getting under my denture. super poligrip free. it creates a seal of the dentures in my mouth. even well fitting dentures let in food particles just a few dabs of super poligrip free is clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. super poligrip free made even the kiwi an enjoyable experience try super poligrip free adult 7+ promotes alertness and mental sharpness in dogs 7 and older.
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as i sat and watched the thousands come to the national action network convention this week, largest turnout in our 26 year history. i looked among them, at the families, the victims of police brutality, racial violence, job discrimination, many who have gone from being on the headlines but we are still committed to standing for them. and representing permanent solutions to them and to what they were victimized by. i thought about how just last month i and several leaders of national civil rights groups met
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with attorney general jeff sessions who in the first 100 days of president trump made it clear that he is going to review police reform. he is not going to go forward with the progressive steps that president obama made and attorney generals eric holder and his successor, mrs. lynch, loretta lynch made in terms of policing. he's not going fight about discrimination. he's withdrawn on voting rights. these first 100 days have been a disaster for those that believe in voting rights and civil rights. it's sent every tangible signal that we are going to turn the page back. as i look at those victims, diablo's brother, killed in '99,
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shawn belle's mother and father. i thought about rodney king. i thought about 25 years ago. i thought about how when a jury in sydney valley acquitted police on tape found beating him over and over again, i remembered many of us went to l.a. there were riots. there were violence. we don't condone violence in any circumstances, but i remember the apostle of nonviolence himself, dr. martin luther king said violence, these riots are the voice of the unheard trying to be heard. people explode when they feel they aren't being heard. when people like those of us that raise it nonviolently are attacked. you tell people, well, if that doesn't work, we have nothing to do but explode. exploding doesn't solve the problem. it won't help and didn't help those victims that we look at.
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we kept going and we got the rodney king case in federal court. we have to keep going now. 100 days of nx must follow 100 days of disaster. that does it for me. thanks for watching. to keep the conversation going, like us on facebook.com/politicsnation. follow us on twitter@politicsnation. see you back here next sundays. stay with me, mr. parker. when a critical patient is far from the hospital, the hospital must come to the patient. stay with me, mr. rker. the at&t network is helping first responders connect with medical teams in near real time... stay with me, mr. parker. ...saving time when it matters most. stay with me, mrs. parker. that's the power of and.
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